Stakes for plants have been replaced by modern and easier supporting methods

It is known that stakes for plants are essential when to obtain the best possible yields results is about. Climbing plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and beans grow spreading horizontally on the ground, which complicates harvesting, fumigation and other labor tasks.  Plant staking makes it possible for plants to grow vertically and increases the possibilities of obtaining a good quality product in less the time. Plant stakes keep fruits and vegetables off the ground, where they can contract multiple infections and plagues that are to be lodged in the soil or the humidity. Staking  also helps to pick crops easier and faster in comparison to non-staked plants; the quality, shape and color of crops will also be better if you take the necessary care that these methods require.

cucumber stakes for plant support
Cucumbers grown on stakes for vertical plant support.
stakes used on a vining climber plant
Beans are generally grown on support stakes in backyard applications.

There are several types of stakes for plants, but the most common method uses plastic or wood posts to tutor plants with nets as they grow. In the case of wood stakes, it is important these are untreated; that is to say, they cannot be painted because the chemicals can leak into the soil, affecting the development of the plant and the toxicity of the fruits.  This particular method is the oldest, and takes a considerable labor effort.

It is important to take into account that stakes must be 12 inches (30.5 cm) higher than the plant itself, and also that it needs to be driven at least a foot in the ground to provide the needed support. If winds are strong in the growing area, it will be necessary to use at least three stakes per plant to prevent it from falling to the ground or the stakes failing; if that is not the case, one or two stakes will be enough. Stakes should not be driven too close to the plant’s stem, at least two or three inches (5.1 or 7.6 cm) of distance is needed to avoid harming the roots and to ruin the growth of the stems.

When using stakes for plants one will need to tie the main stem to the stake every few weeks as it grows and new branches and shoots develop; raffia twine is frequently used for this because it is strong but biodegradable at the same time. Incredibly, in most cases, this is the reason why infections spread so easily in plants. Agricultural raffia can become a real problem as it will entice the development plant pathogens by harboring fungi and bacteria that are difficult to eradicate withing the twists of the wire. Additionally, constant manipulation required for keeping the plant attached to the stake stresses it mechanically, raising the probabilities of contracting diseases.

stakes for plants used with netting
Stakes for plants used for trellising vegetables on a support net.

All these precautions can be omitted when using more efficient and modern methods other than stakes for plants and other rigid support poles and materials, such as in the case of plastic trellis nettingNets for trellises have started to be more frequently used recently among agronomists and professional farmers due to the fact that they are really easier to install and speeds up the whole process saving labor costs.

Trellis Netting is cheaper than plant stakes

vegetable support net and a U frame stake
Vegetable stakes used in conjunction with a trellis net.

Tutoring vegetable plants with netting does not need so much labor, only two people can install the netting for a whole hectare in just one day, as compared to the raffia and post method which takes 3 times as much, also once installed additional care is minimal since an accidental cut of the twine during pruning or harvest will not collapse the whole trellised row.

plant stakes on a double row plantation of tomatoes on white mulch film
These tomato plants are ready with their stakes in the ground, the tomato trellis net will be installed once the plants have established themselves in the mulched soil.

A single roll on horticultural mesh netting can be stretched along a row and work as a support for several plants and, as they grow, new branches will stand and lean on the horizontal trellis meshes, which implies less manipulation and less use of material, a decrease in mechanically transmitted diseases and the overall lowering of cultural costs, as it also decreases the incidence of the contraction of phytopathogens during manipulation.

buy trellis netting instead of stakes for plants

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